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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Flintoff not kosher?

Peter Roebuck lays a promising chunk of wood on the fire of the chucking controversy, in his column in the Hindu where he suggests that Freddy Flintoff, the great hope of English cricket, chucked like the dickens -- against Bangladesh, what's more.
Rather, Flintoff's action appears to deteriorate when he searches for an extra yard of pace and especially when he moves around the wicket and starts to pound the middle of the pitch. Then his naturally open-chested style betrays him. Fluency is replaced by the sort of raggedness that regularly draws censure upon the heads of subcontinental leather-flingers. And there's the rub

Which, in fact, pretty much describes the problem with a whole lot of suspect actions doing the international rounds these days (and I don't mean Bajji and Murali). The funny part of this chucking controversy is that barring a stray Shabbir here, a Shoaib there, the pacemen have largely escaped the spotlight, while the spinners continually -- and repeatedly -- cop it in the neck. Which is a touch unfair -- a large chunk of the fast bowling fraternity, including some of Australia's finest, chuck the odd one.
And, as Roebuck suggests here, it's that extra bit, that 'effort ball', that causes the problem in most cases. Seeking that bit extra, and losing your action in the process, is no crime; there is no stigma attached to it -- and the fact that many do it is precisely why I argued, in an earlier post, that the best way to end this controversy is to call a chuck on the field of play, get the ball rebowled, and move on -- like you would with a wide, or a no ball, both of which like the chuck are basically illegal deliveries.
In a bit of unintentional irony, meanwhile, here's another story -- which suggests that England skipper Vaughan could be looking to Flintoff to bowl more in the second Test.


  • I had an occassion to listen to Roebuck at an informal gathering of Indians in Melbourne in December (recorded my impressions of that meeting here ). Roebuck had mentioned in that gathering that he was going to provoke a debate by pointing out his opinion of Flintoff's suspect action. If I remember right, he mentioned that his desire was to highlight the fact that the English establishment continues to make laws and apply them equivocally. He mentioned that he had nothing against Flintoff but he was going to use the dashing all-rounder's case as an example of the larger malaise pervading English cricket authorities. He brings that aspect in the last para of this column too.

    By Blogger Kumara Raghavan, at 03:34  

  • Kudos to Roebuck for taking the lead to point out that there is no South Asian or coloured gene that bends the arm of their bowlers. The problem is that on-field umpires seldom report any white bowlers and neither does the match referee (sole excpetion being Venkat on Brett Lee). The umpires and match referees are more to blame for this than the ICC.

    By Anonymous Mr.Brown, at 04:50  

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